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November 2017

#metoo Just let me count the ways

I Sadly, I have always been attracted to activities that are male dominated, so I have been subject to harassment on an almost daily basis. 

From subtlities to out and out harassment. From the Civil Air Patrol adults who called me “honey” to the uniforms. They got better in college Air Force ROTC, but pencil skirts?  Really. 

I knew better than to be in the third class of women at West Point after reading stories on stories of how minority’s were treated there, but that meant a shut door. 

College Air Force ROTC was a positive experience on campus. The Arnold Air Society shielded me from most but camp at Elgin was another story. I lost complete respect for the camp leadership when they pointed out to us that someone was peeking in our windows.  We didn’t need to be told and they could have prevented it and not say anything. Probably didn’t know how to handle it, but still. We weren’t the first women in ROTC. 

Work in computer science wasn’t much better, each of my male bosses didn’t know how to deal with women.  My third was down and out harassing. We were hired independently by one boss who left the team. He was replaced by a female boss. My immediate supervisor had nothing good to say about her, primarily because she was female. He insisted the team go out to lunch on Friday and openly ogled attractive women and verbally described their attributes to the team. I frequently went home and threw up and not just on Fridays.

I attribute my eating disorders to these experiences.  Some how I have it in my head that if I am fat, men won't bother me.

One of the reasons I went into teaching was to set an example to both male and female students as a woman who is interested in technology.  I think my students grew up to respect others.  I certainly hope so.